Constructed in the form of a circle with a single path, a labyrinth winds purposefully into the centre and out again. Unlike a maze, there are no dead-ends or choices to be made. You need only enter and walk the path.
Labyrinths have existed on nearly every continent and in nearly every major culture and religion for over 4,000 years. The earliest known Christian labyrinth was laid in the floor of the basilica at Al-Asnam in Algeria in 324 AD. The best known is in Chartres Cathedral in France, laid into the stone floor early in the 13th century and still there today.
There was a significant Christian revival in walking the labyrinth during the medieval period in Europe. When it was no longer safe to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, the church made walking the labyrinth a symbolic journey to Jerusalem – a pilgrimage of the soul.
Renewal of interest in the labyrinth in North America arose in the 1990's. Canon Lauren Artress, of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, has been key in raising its awareness for our culture and times. There are now labyrinths in public parks, hospitals, schools, prisons and churches across North America.
St. Peter's has two labyrinths:
an indoor 11-circuit Chartres-style canvas labyrinth 30ft. x 30ft. with paths 13 inches wide, and a centre 5 feet in diameter. Designed by Anne Nesbitt and painted in the Fall of 2003 by members of St. Peter's, it was blessed and dedicated on Sunday, 2 November 2003. It has been faithfully walked every Thursday since that time.
an outdoor 7-circuit Classical labyrinth created by members of St Peter's and others who walk the indoor labyrinth. It was blessed and dedicated in August, 2006.
Labyrinth walks are held In September, December, New Year's Day, March, and June to mark specific occasions in the year.
The outdoor labyrinth (facing Elm St.) is available at any time.
All are welcome - whether a first-time or experienced walker . Orientation to the Labyrinth can be arranged by calling the church office. For further information on the labyrinth, contact St Peter's - 204-488-8093